Musical events to look forward to in 2020

Two concerts are coming up at CCM, one on January 31st when the CCM PHILHARMONIA tackles Gustav Mahler’s huge Ninth Symphony with Mark Gibson conducting. Alban Berg said of it that ”it expresses an extraordinary love of the earth, for Nature. The longing to live on it in peace, to enjoy it completely, to the very heart of one’s being…”

The other event will be an all-French program at CCM (Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz) with guest conductor Louis Langrée helming the same superb ensemble of rising orchestral players on February 15th.

Two Handel operas – both rarities – are coming our way: Partenope at CCM opens on February 20 for a short 4-performance run, and Agrippina gets an HD screening of the new MET production on February 29 with Handel’s tale of political intrigue updated to the present time starring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the power-hungry mum from hell.

Music for All Seasons at Peterloon pays homage to women composers on Sunday March 8th with music by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Teresa Carreño, Nadia Boulanger, Agathe Backer Grøndahl, and Florence B. Price, with Yaoyue Huang, Ariadne Antipa, Miriam K. Smith, Kanako Shimasali and Amber R. Monroe bringing the music to life.

In March two sopranos visit our area: in Dayton, Angel Blue sings a concert with the Dayton Philharmonic on Sunday March 22, and on Friday March 27, Nicole Cabell gives a recital for Matinee Musicale Cincinnati.

CCM fills its calendar in April during the same weekend of Thursday 2 through Sunday 5 with the musical Bright Star and the Mozart opera The Magic Flute.

Elsewhere an on that same month and on the weekend of April 17, the CSO plays a Russian concert of favorites by Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff, and the spectacularly talented violinist Christina Nam takes on a solo recital for Matinee Musicale Cincinnati.

Still later that month the CSO essays a new concept on April 22: an intimate and informal concert of world music – Cuban in this case – with the audience seated on stage with the musicians. Two days later on April 24 CCM’s Dance Department brings on stage Igor Stravinsky once-scandalous, still sexy The Rite of Spring.

In May the untiring Matinee Musicale Cincinnati brings the fast-rising tenor Pene Patti back to the Queen City for a return engagement on May 3. If you have not heard him go! If you have already you will more likely be there.

2020 being the 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s birth expect several performances honoring him.

The CSO will host a two-part marathon all-Beethoven concert on Sunday March 1.

Music for All Seasons at Peterloon pays homage to the giant of classical music on May 10th with a recital featuring some of his most beloved instrumental and vocal music, with cellist Jonathan Lee, pianist Marie-France Lefevbre, violinist Kanako Shimasaki, and tenor Daniel Weeks.

In May the Cincinnati May Festival will present a concert with excerpts from Fidelio in conjunction with his Ninth Symphony, and Isaac Selya’s Queen City Opera has yet to announce the exact date for its staging of Fidelio.

With five music-filled months ahead before we catch our collective breath in June in time for the Cincinnati Opera season, our calendars will be full of terrific options.